May 1, 2015 | Posted in:blog, News

The Icelandic Pirate Party has steadily grown in recent polls, polling in March as the biggest political party, and in early April as the second biggest party.

The Pirate Party barely managed to squeeze into Alþingi (Icelandic Parliament) in the general elections in 2013, by beating the 5% threshold to get in. Out of 63 parliamentarians, the Pirates have 3 MPs. Subsequently, the Pirate Party also ran in the mayoral elections, getting one seat in City Hall, resulting in a coalition partnership in Reykjavík with 3 other parties.

Political analysts were – and still are – wary of attributing this rise to the party’s policies, but now a new Gallup poll published yesterday (30th of April) shows that the Pirate Party is the biggest political party in Iceland with 30.1%, while government approval ratings are at 32%.

The Pirate Party MPs have been fighting for democratic reform, the adoption of a new constitution, copyright reform, and legislation safeguarding freedom of expression and freedom of information. The party rotates its leadership, believing not in political hierarchies. Its focus is on a democracy of increased, and direct, public participation, with various measures introduced into the political system to ensure the public’s access to decision making.

So far, this looks not to be a blip, but rather a continuing trend, and as such, completely unprecedented in Icelandic Political history where the Indepdence Party (Tory equivalent) has generally been the biggest party. The Independence Party now polls at 22.9%, being the second biggest party, with Social Democrat Allience at 14.1%, Left Greens at 10.6%, Progressive Party at 10.1% and Bright Future at 7.8% respectively.

From the point of view of IMMI, we hope that this upsurge will function as a wake-up call to all political parties and MPs to focus on democratic reform, the IMMI resolution which was unanimously adopted by Parliament, and the systemic changes the public demands.